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Lesson 196

It can be but myself I crucify.

1. When this is firmly understood and kept in full awareness, you will not attempt to harm yourself, nor make your body slave to vengeance. ²You will not attack yourself, and you will realize that to attack another is but to attack yourself. ³You will be free of the insane belief that to attack a brother saves yourself. ⁴And you will understand his safety is your own, and in his healing you are healed.

2. Perhaps at first you will not understand how mercy, limitless and with all things held in its sure protection, can be found in the idea we practice for today. ²It may, in fact, appear to be a sign that punishment can never be escaped because the ego, under what it sees as threat, is quick to cite the truth to save its lies. ³Yet must it fail to understand the truth it uses thus. ⁴But you can learn to see these foolish applications, and deny the meaning they appear to have.

3. Thus do you also teach your mind that you are not an ego. ²For the ways in which the ego would distort the truth will not deceive you longer. ³You will not believe you are a body to be crucified. ⁴And you will see within today’s idea the light of resurrection, looking past all thoughts of crucifixion and of death, to thoughts of liberation and of life.

4. Today’s idea is one step we take in leading us from bondage to the state of perfect freedom. ²Let us take this step today, that we may quickly go the way salvation shows us, taking every step in its appointed sequence, as the mind relinquishes its burdens one by one. ³It is not time we need for this. ⁴It is but willingness. ⁵For what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God.

5. The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross. ²Perhaps it seemed to be salvation. ³Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real. ⁴And what is that but hell? ⁵Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and blot him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?

6. Such is the form of madness you believe, if you accept the fearful thought you can attack another and be free yourself. ²Until this form is changed, there is no hope. ³Until you see that this, at least, must be entirely impossible, how could there be escape? ⁴The fear of God is real to anyone who thinks this thought is true. ⁵And he will not perceive its foolishness, or even see that it is there, so that it would be possible to question it.

7. To question it at all, its form must first be changed at least as much as will permit fear of retaliation to abate, and the responsibility returned to some extent to you. ²From there you can at least consider if you want to go along this painful path. ³Until this shift has been accomplished, you can not perceive that it is but your thoughts that bring you fear, and your deliverance depends on you.

8. Our next steps will be easy, if you take this one today. ²From there we go ahead quite rapidly. ³For once you understand it is impossible that you be hurt except by your own thoughts, the fear of God must disappear. ⁴You cannot then believe that fear is caused without. ⁵And God, Whom you had thought to banish, can be welcomed back within the holy mind He never left.

9. Salvation’s song can certainly be heard in the idea we practice for today. ²If it can but be you you crucify, you did not hurt the world, and need not fear its vengeance and pursuit. ³Nor need you hide in terror from the deadly fear of God projection hides behind. ⁴The thing you dread the most is your salvation. ⁵You are strong, and it is strength you want. ⁶And you are free, and glad of freedom. ⁷You have sought to be both weak and bound, because you feared your strength and freedom. ⁸Yet salvation lies in them.

10. There is an instant in which terror seems to grip your mind so wholly that escape appears quite hopeless. ²When you realize, once and for all, that it is you you fear, the mind perceives itself as split. ³And this had been concealed while you believed attack could be directed outward, and returned from outside to within. ⁴It seemed to be an enemy outside you had to fear. ⁵And thus a god outside yourself became your mortal enemy; the source of fear.

11. Now, for an instant, is a murderer perceived within you, eager for your death, intent on plotting punishment for you until the time when it can kill at last. ²Yet in this instant is the time as well in which salvation comes. ³For fear of God has disappeared. ⁴And you can call on Him to save you from illusions by His Love, calling Him Father and yourself His Son. ⁵Pray that the instant may be soon,—today. ⁶Step back from fear, and make advance to love.

12. There is no Thought of God that does not go with you to help you reach that instant, and to go beyond it quickly, surely and forever. ²When the fear of God is gone, there are no obstacles that still remain between you and the holy peace of God. ³How kind and merciful is the idea we practice! ⁴Give it welcome, as you should, for it is your release. ⁵It is indeed but you your mind can try to crucify. ⁶Yet your redemption, too, will come from you.

(ACIM, W-196.1:1–12:6)

Posted in ACIM Lessons

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